Outside Influences: Designing the Exterior of Your Facility to Keep Pests Away

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Pests don’t check in at food processing facilities – they make themselves right at home with no notice or warning. This often causes negative consequences for your employees, customers and reputation. Here are some primary risk factors and steps to identify pests to make sure your facility is protected.

Strategic Landscaping

Landscaping around food processing should be actively barren. This means keeping a well-maintained lawn with minimal bushes, vines or ground covers. Other steps to help keep pests out include:
• Keeping foliage from trees and bushes from touching buildings. Contact between landscaping and your building provides unintended bridges for ant entry and pathways to the roof for squirrels and rodents.
• Don’t plant nut- or fruit-bearing trees on the property. Insects are attracted to rotting fruit.
• Placing stones one inch in diameter around the facility’s perimeter will help keep rodents from entering.

Lighting Matters

Positioning is key when it comes to exterior lighting. Keep light fixtures away from buildings and doors, as flies and many high-flying insects are attracted to light.
Also, pay attention the light bulbs used. Bulbs that are similar to sunlight – incandescent, standard fluorescent and mercury vapor – attract a significant number of insects.

Mess Can Equal Pests

A comprehensive waste management system will help keep your facility pest free. Proper disposal containers are crucial to keeping loose waste and other litter from attracting pests. Clean and sanitize on a regular basis and avoid spillage.

Stop Pests in Their Tracks

Pests often make their way inside when they have found an ideal environment – one that contains food, shelter and water. Once inside, rodents and insects tend to follow the same paths – wall-to-ground junctions – so place traps along these spots. Placing traps in their pathways can be more effective than leaving bait in random areas.

Work with a Professional

Consulting with an expert and implementing an Integrated Pest Management approach can be a great preventative measure to help you keep pests out of your facility.

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